Studying Vogler’s Mythic Structure – Part 1

“All stories consist of a few common structural elements found universally in myths, fairy tales, dreams, and movies. They are known collectively as The Hero’s Journey.” xxvii

I’ve started reading Christopher Vogler’s book, The Writer’s Journey Mythic Structure for Writers (3rd edition). It’s like eating fresh strawberries from the garden dipped in Belgian chocolate. Even though the book is now twenty years old it’s a classic read for writers.

Joan of Arc

Vogler writes about a, “… set of concepts known as “The Hero’s Journey,” drawn from the depth psychology of Carl G.Jung and the mythic studies of Joseph Campbell.” (p. xiii). When he started to relate these concepts to storytelling, he found himself on a mythic-like journey.

“I came looking for the design principles of storytelling, but on the road found something more a set of principles for living. I came to believe the Hero’s journey is nothing less than a handbook for life, a complete instruction manual in the art of being human.” (p. xiii)

He concluded that The Hero’s Journey is not an invention of his or Jung’s or Campbell’s, but rather an observation of life.

No wonder good stories resound within us! As he says:

“An effective story grabs your gut, tightens your throat, makes your heart race and your lungs pump brings tears to your eyes or an explosion of laughter to your lips.” (p. x)

So I’m wondering: Who are your favorite hero/heroine in literature?

News Flash: Black Cat Blues finalled in another contest, the Romancing the Lakes (Minnesota RWA). The final rankings will be announced Aug. 3rd. Happy Dancing

Author: Jo-Ann Carson

About Jo-Ann Carson Where magic happens … Reports of Jo-Ann Carson’s death on a Gulf Island are greatly exaggerated or, at the very least, premature. The eclectic crew of ghosts that haunt her head spill onto the page in two series: The Gambling Ghosts and The Ghost & Abby Mysteries. A Viking with existential issues, a broken hearted Highlander, a Casanova man-witch and a Pirate with a secret are just a few of the males her strong heroines encounter in tales of fantasy, adventure and romance. A firm believer in the magic of our everyday lives, Jo-Ann loves watching sunrises, walking beaches near her home in the Pacific Northwest and reading by the fire. You can visit her on social media: Website * Blog * Twitter * Facebook

13 thoughts on “Studying Vogler’s Mythic Structure – Part 1”

    1. Hi Pat
      Thank you. I like your prediction.
      I’m still in Vancouver, but my mind is in NY.
      CU soon.


  1. The hero’s quest, while being quite compelling, is not the only mythic journey.

    As Yoda would say, “There is another. . . ”

    The sister of the hero’s journey is known as: The Grail Path, Virgin’s Path, or Way of Grace. The story of King Arthur and his knights is one of the most famous description of this path. If you are looking for a more recent construct, I recommend “The Sound of Music.”


    1. Hi
      I’m not sure what your name is, but thank you for stopping by and adding to the conversation.
      I love “The Sound of Music.” I also love your terms for the heroine’s journey and I will be reading more about them.
      Best Wishes


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